Cycling Crazy - Stage 6 - Still Looking for Mr Blue Sky

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Cycling Crazy Stage 6 - Still Looking for ‘Mr Blue Sky'

Cycling Crazy columnist Phil Julian seems to have reverted to type and fallen victim to cabin fever (or ‘gone bushy' as our Alaskan friends would say). The icy grip of our worst winter for 30 years has gotten snowbound Phil pondering Seasonally Affected Disorder and exotic rodents. Thankfully, there is something cycling related in there somewhere, so read on...

If you're new to the column, pick up Phil's Cycling Crazy thread here:

Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5

Above: A summary of Phil's current preoccupations.

SAD or just sad?

This can be a pretty miserable time of year. Am I a victim of Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD) or just a Sad Old Git? My wife of 33 years says it's probably a mixture of the two. If you've got a way of dealing with SAD or any positive thinking tricks then why not share them with your cycling crazy mates by emailing


Still, at least daarn saarf (down south - ed), the snow has disappeared but Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania Groundhog appeared on the 2nd February at Gobbler's Knob and saw his shadow, so that's another six 6 weeks of winter. I've seen the film eight times now (or have I?) and it was in 1999 that Phil last appeared with no shadow. Was he right back then, was winter of 1999 over by the middle of February? Er sorry but

6.5 million visits to - the official web site of Punxsutawney Phil, on Groundhog Day, reveals that it's not just you and me that are impatient for better weather.

Okay Phil, this is a cycling column, so why are you going on and on about a furry brown rodent that looks like this?

Any bike riding zoologists will of course know why! Our Punxsutawney Pal above is of the species Marmota Monax and a relative of the little French chap Marmota Marmota that wanders around in the Alps. You just might see one on the 3rd July or perhaps you've already seen one while riding the world's best single day sportive. Let me know at

Meanwhile back at the turbo trainer...

Mostly Turbo Torment and some Track Training are on my preparation agenda for the next four weeks, with a decent ride at the week-end, ice permitting.

Now here's a thing which you might be able to help me with. On the Chris Carmichael "get fit and still have time to do the washing up, get the coal in and pick the wife up from work plan", I'm measuring all my turbo and road rides with a PowerTap. So how come (and it's a touchy-feely thing perhaps) my perceived effort on the road when compared to the turbo is easier, apparently for the same power output. My own theory is that as the PowerTap measures through torque on the left side of the hub, that clamping the bike in a turbo restricts movement/measurement at the rear wheel. I base this on the fact that there is much more bottom bracket flex evident on the turbo. If you've got any views on this or you merely want to mess with my head about all things power, then e mail me - you know the address.

Clubbing It

I've just joined a British Cycling club for the first time in almost fifteen years, taken out BC Gold Membership and a racing licence. I met most of my new team mates for the first time just the other night. The club coach asked me if I had any objectives for 2010. I said yeah - I'll be the team dummestique - I'll ride as hard as I can for my talented team mates but I won't have the energy left to say anything!

In my quest to get fit for the Banbury Star Hardriders and the two March road races I've entered, it's time to try some hill intervals I think. Oh bliss - Oh joy!

The Young Fit One - more enigmatic than The Stig?

Many many readers, okay a couple of you, are asking me to reveal the real identity of The Young Fit One. He's more difficult to track down than Michael Rasmussen but look out for exclusive pictures of him in training next time.

Repeat ‘til fade...

Now you really haven't got time to be sitting in front of this screen much longer have you? Get out of the house, get into the shed and get onto the Turbo. I've got to do some exercises to loosen up my lower back so I'm about to abandon. Just before I go check out this here link. It's ELO playing Mr Blue Sky. It's a great track for an MP3 download to ride tempo on the turbo and it just might work as a fans anthem for our own Team Sky blue riders.

February 2010 and our own British Team, full of stars, winning already! Who'd have thought it? Things (and the weather) can only get better!

Stick it in the big ring and let's go...